Hey guys...

I found this board by searching how to modify a PRS and found many who start from scratch.. that is a huge project that I can't undertake.. instead I would like to buy a PRS and modify it to my taste. I will have a local luthier do the mods for me.

I need to start with an PRS but I am not sure which model would be a good blank based on what I want to do to it in order to make the mod more feasible.

I want to:
1) Have a thin wide neck with maple back and rosewood fretboard with 24 frets
2) I want to create a "contour" to rest my picking arm while sitting down. Like a Fender strat or an ibanez RG has. I developed a shoulder injury and not having this ergonomic contour elevates my shoulder and I can't play through more than 10 mins.
3) I want it to have HSH configuration.
4) I want a blade switch for the pickups, a volume and 1 tone knob. The catch with this is that I want it in the same position you would have them in a strat or a "PRS 305" but buying a PRS 305 would be too expensive.
5) Must have a tremolo. PRS trems are good enough for my intentions.
6) I want to paint it Pearl White. I understand this will make it easier and it looks cool.

All this must be done with under $1,500 bucks!!

I have been looking on ebay and a CE 24 in decent shape sells for just under 1k, so the rest would be for mods and the luthier's bill.

But I want advise on which would be the best way to accomplish this project. A way that is feasible (doable) and not too expensive.

Is it possible to modify the body on a CE 24 to add a cavity for a single coil and add a switchblade and knobs in a position that resembles a strat? I guess the wholes that come from factory would have to be filled and new ones created?

Also, I considered doing a warmoth type, but I really want to get a PRS neck so, I am not sure that the body would fit or if it would be the same caveat as modifying a stock body for a CE 24

Building from scratch the body may be possible, but I don't know if it will be within my budget.

Any ideas or thought as to how to approach this project?

Thanks a lot.
Because I already have a similar type of guitar.. i have a Heartfield Talon IV that is SWEET.. shredding machine..
Hopefully someone will chime in with ideas on the project..
PRSs are expensive guitars, especially if you're just gonna buy one to start cutting/routing it up. Your money though, I suppose.

Only "affordable" PRSs I know that offer maple necks are the CE24 models that you have to buy used as they don't produce them anymore. You'll need to route out a cavity for a middle pickup. To go from 3-way toggle to 5-way blade switch will be complicated on a carved top PRS. They recess their controls so you'd need to fill the recess route from one of the knobs with bondo or a similar product and then cut out the 5-way switch slot. You'll also need to remove the factory finish and then reseal/re-sand to finish grit in order to paint it.

Can you even have an arm contour with a carved top guitar? I don't think there's enough wood on the back left edge to make the contour.

If I were you I'd do this to a Custom 24 SE. Its not got a maple neck but at least it's not $1k, and you won't have to deal with the complications of a carved top.
Last edited by Seref at Nov 6, 2011,
Couldnt you go with something cheaper? Why PRS? Why invest that amount of money into a guitar if you're just going to butcher it? You could probably get someone on these forums to custom build a guitar to those specs for under $1500.

Hell, if I had the time I'd do it, and probably only charge cost + shipping too.
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I don't think your numbers add up. For a luthier to strip the finish, make a new pickup route, add a new contour, and re-finish the entire body is going to be more than the $500 you're budgeting, and that's assuming you're going to do the electronics yourself. You can almost certainly find someone on here willing to make a guitar to those specs for you at that price, but to buy a new PRS is foolish. You're going to buy a perfectly good instrument without the specs you want and then spend a ton of money getting someone else to essentially start over on the body.

A few options. One, get someone to do it properly from scratch.
Two, forget the middle pickup. Find a PRS with a color close to what you want and just get the contour done and laquered over. That should be within your budget, and would probably allow for the electronics work as well.
Three, get an Ibanez. They have all the specs you want, and it doesn't make any sense to me that you're not considering them. You're basically asking to spend a lot of money turning a PRS into an Ibanez. Why not cut out all that crap in the middle and buy a guitar that has what you want to begin with? You can certainly get a nice RG and mess with the electronics for 1500. You seem quite set on a PRS neck, so perhaps that's the key, but if you haven't tried at least a few Ibanez offerings, you're doing yourself a disservice. They have great necks that might be what you want.
Four, buy a bolt-on PRS neck off of eBay and put it on a custom body. I know PRS did bolt-ons for a while, you can probably find one somewhere. Warmoth also does PRS-style necks, I'm sure they can steer you towards a carve that mimics the contours you like if you call and ask.
The TS obviously has no Idea about building/modding a guitar.

As Roc said you will never get what you want out of a PRS and mods for $1500, it simply doesnt exist. However PRS did make the PRS EG in the 90's that had the arm contour and single coils. I think the old PRS SE Billy Martin has the contour also.
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Quote by Roc8995

Four, buy a bolt-on PRS neck off of eBay and put it on a custom body. I know PRS did bolt-ons for a while, you can probably find one somewhere. Warmoth also does PRS-style necks, I'm sure they can steer you towards a carve that mimics the contours you like if you call and ask.

this is the way to go! buy a used CE24 with wide thin neck. Save the body and create a custom body with the shape I want. In the future if I want to sell the prs I just put it back together. nice.
Buying a used CE24 puts you in the same hole. Yeah, you're saving the body but now you have to pay to get another one. You'll still need to either A. find the body style you want that has a proper neck pocket or B. have someone make you/mod another body to be the way you want it. Thats all money.
Your honest best bet is to steer away from PRS. As has been said a few times, you can find a builder on this site that will work with you for what you're willing to spend.
It is your money and you can spend it as you wish but I think you're underestimating how much money you will need.